Jihad in Mauritania. From AP, with thanks to Raymond:
Mauritania’s pro-U.S. government broke up a plot by military officers and radical Islamists to seize power in this heavily Arab West African nation through a bombing and assassination campaign, officials with the military and the ruling party claimed Monday.
There was no immediate confirmation or denial from the Sahara nation’s government, and it was impossible to verify the claims independently.
Ruling party officials blamed military officers, civilians and radical Islamists in the alleged plot against President Maaoya Sid’Ahmed Ould Taya’s government, which has allied itself with Washington in the war on terror.
Authorities arrested at least two military officers for planning a violent campaign that had the ultimate aim of wresting power from Taya, four officials of Taya’s party said. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed top figures were targeted for assassination, including Taya.
Western officials said they were investigating the reports of arrested military personnel.
An unspecified number of civilians and alleged Muslim extremists also were taken into custody, the ruling party officials said.
“They were hoping to carry out their plan, but it was derailed at the last moment,” said a separate military source, also speaking on condition of anonymity.